Tag Archives: students

Thanks for Coming!

Elisa IMG_5408Another year, another amazing set of talent at the Fifth Anniversary Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire!

In the early morning, the weather seemed so frightful, but then out came the sun by the time we welcomed our first guest to Maker Faire! Our Builder Sponsor, Passanante’s Home Food Services welcomed everyone at the door with a taste of their healthy grilled recipes:Stich IMG_0047We tried to catch those drone racers from Mad Lab Industries on camera, but they were booking it at above-highway-speeds.  You’ll just have to come back next year to see (or drive) for yourselves!

At the lower speeds, hope you got a chance to pop into the Geodesic Greenhouse, returning for the second year as part of Schurz High School’s Food Science Program. Attendees learned how to jar a plant, lined with newspaper, ready for the big move into any urban garden. 🙂Megy_GreenhouseIf you came with your kids, you couldn’t miss out on Galileo Camp‘s Bristle Bot Challenge in the library, or the incredibly interactive mixed-reality game cube built by Bit Space in the cafeteria. Both groups joined Chicago Electronic Distributor and OSH Park as this year’s Contributor Sponsors, helping to allow Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire remain a free event to the public! Hopefully, you got a chance to meet Drew from OSH Park, who gave us the Perfect Purple PCB and also shared many of the pictures you see:CibBcpUUkAArj7-

Schurz  HS students brought back some old favorites, like NHS Blast the Nerds! and FUN-ky Nails. Old competitions came back anew, from this year’s FIRST Robotics Challenge and the SeaPerch Underwater ROV.  Did you make a pipe cleaner figurine? Did you engage in the Bridge Build/Destroy challenge? Did you make your own ice cream (and eat it, too)?Drew GIF 16 - 7Other exhibiting students included the DuSable HS Woodshop (shown below), who carried a taste of their shop from the south side of Chicago! Clemente HS presented exhibits from the Chicago Students Invention Convention (held earlier this year), with organizer Anneliese Geggenheimer speaking in our first ever speaker series!20160216_145016Lane Tech HS brought a strong showing of student work, from their extremely popular Sticker Maker, to the completely student run AspireIT program for girls in computation! And this Young Maker gave our veteran Build-a-Blinkie soldering pros a run for their money with his self-constructed, self-coded Charlie Cube:Drew GIF 16 - 5

As usual, our Makers represented a spectrum from high- to low-tech, from the artistic to the innovative, to the just plain weird. Did you get a chance to battle with robots, build a Noise-o-Tron solder-less noisemaker, or drive in a VR simulation? Did you fold some cool origami, learn to do needle-felting, or sew a friendly bumble bee? Did you build with insanely pimped out electronic LEGOS or make ones of your boys lego ideas better than they did? Did you drive the K-9 from old school Dr. Who, or construct your own Little Bits Cottage? Did you record your Maker Faire story with Schurz Digital Media (Storycorps style), watch an old-school Nickelodeon, or create your own movie magic with the help of a green screen?

Elisa IMG_5403Stich IMG_0657Drew IMG_20160507_150211Drew IMG_20160507_133640Drew IMG_20160507_124707Drew GIF IMG_20160507_155721-ANIMATIONStich IMG_0010Stich IMG_0008Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 12.31.40 PMStich IMG_0049Elisa IMG_5414Drew GIF IMG_20160507_154812-ANIMATION

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There’s not enough space in a single blog post to talk about everything that happened–there was just TOO MUCH to see, play, and build! We hope these pictures capture the spirit of CNS Maker Faire.

Thanks to Drew Fustini, Elisa Shoenberger, Megy Karydes, Lauren Vogelstein, Dan Rezac, Gabby Anton, and the wonderful students from Schurz Digital Media for sharing these photos. Thanks to everyone who came out! We hope you were inspired to keep making through the year. Perhaps one day, you too will be presenting to the public.  See you all next year, for the sixth annual Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire!

If you took some kicking pictures of the fourth annual CNS Maker Faire, please share with us @CNSmakerfaire and on Facebook!

Thank you to our generous sponsors for helping us keep the magic alive. And a huge thank you to our amazing volunteers! Our afternoon team is shown here with super funky T-shirts sponsored by Muddy Waters Learning Press:

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Maker Faire is Tomorrow!

Prepare for Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire tomorrow!

  1. Browse our Makers and find your favorites!
  2. Review our Speaker Series and plan out your day.
  3. Bring some pocket money for kits and food!
  4. Check out these tasty food trucks joining us this year!
    • Gino’s Steak Truck Chicago
    • La Patrona Food Bus






Be prepared for Chicago weather: the forecast is a high in the 60’s, with scattered wind and rain. We have Makers exhibiting inside and outside, and we will continue rain or shine! So bring your rain jacket and hat just in case!

At the Faire, say hello to our sponsors:

  1. Passante’s Home Food will show you healthy recipes to try at home
  2. Make a Bristle Bot with Galileo Camps
  3. Explore the amazing Bit Space Inter-Act
  4. Preview Animindz Digital Arts for yourself
  5. Look out for the guy in the OSH Park T-Shirt who will be handing out some sponsored goodies!

Make sure to visit our Makers throughout the first floor, in the pool, and  packed on the second floor. We can’t wait to see you there!


Meet the Maker: Digital Media

JAWS greenScreen.jpg

Photo Credit: Digital Media

Want to travel to far away and impossible places without even moving? Come to the Digital Media Green Screen at the Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire!

Caitlin Stich, leading teacher for the program, explains: “Digital Media at Schurz is a four year program that teaches students the tools and techniques needed to be a graphic designer in the professional world.” There are over 100 students in the program with even more students joining in the fall as freshmen.

For Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire, participants of the faire will have the opportunity to learn and play with a green screen. According to Caitlin Stich, “The green screen, or really any solid color screen, allows us to easily change the background of an image.  First we will have our guests choose a background from our selection which is full of cartoon landscapes, and other silly places.  Then guests stand in front of the green screen and act out their scene such as if their background has the T-Rex from Jurassic Park chasing them, maybe they are pretending to be scared running away.  Guests can either take the photograph using our DSLR cameras of each other or have our professional Digital Media artists take the photograph.” They’ll upload the photos to Google Drive so anyone can use them for Facebook or whatever! People should come and learn about this technology used so often as “special effects” in movies. Also, people should get ready to get silly and have fun with it!  Digital Media is excited to meet new potential students who may be interested in joining the program in their Freshmen year.

We can’t wait to “go places” with the Digital Media Green Screen at Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire!

Meet the Maker: Schurz Food Lab


Photo credit: Schurz Food Lab

Two words: Space Tomatoes. That’s one of many projects that the Schurz Food Lab will be showcasing at the Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire. The program is led by the multi-talented Jaime Guerrero, Schurz food science lab founder and administrator, who wants to change minds and hearts about urban agriculture. Guerrero explains that the mission of the lab is to develop and harvest the next generation farmer. He wants to teach the farmer of the future about traditional agriculture, sustainability, and the science behind it all. The program aspires to teach students to go forward with these new concepts and develop a whole new way of farming.

The Schurz Food Lab situated in a formerly unused classroom at Schurz is in its first year. Right now, students and community volunteers have been learning about hydroponics and aquaculture. Hydroponics is the process of growing plants in water, sand or other medium instead of soil. It’s less water intensive since the set up reduces water waste, making it more environmentally friendly. The lab has been growing a variety of greens including microgreens, baby heirloom lettuces, and more.  Aquaculture is the farming of seafood, which permits the cultivation of healthy seafood for human consumption. Unfortunately, sources of wild seafood have been grossly overfished. Aquaculture provides a real solution to this crisis. Currently, they are raising Red Nile Tilapia but there are plans to cultivate saltwater prawns and crayfish. The lab also has a small aquaponics system that combines the two. The waste water from the seafood helps fertilize the greens and filters the water that can now return to the tank. It’s a beautiful sustainable circle. The greens from the hydroponics lab have been donated to the Irving Park Food Pantry, facilitated by BuildOn, a vital partner and ally within the community. The lab was also recently certified by the CPS to supply food to the cafeteria. While they aren’t the first CPS school to receive such certification, they are first  indoor hydroponics lab in Chicago to receive that distinction. That’s super cool. The lab is all about “Feeding the mind, feeding the stomach, and feeding the community.”

So about those space tomatoes…For Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire, they will set up a geodesic dome to show off the hydroponic and other systems. In addition to that, they will be unveiling the working food computer, invented at MIT. Guerrero explains that it’s basically a farm in a 2 x 2 foot box where all the conditions can be controlled to facilitate the growth of the plant inside. You can learn what settings of light, water, etc are most conducive to sharing and you can then share it with the world. The Schurz Food Lab has connected with Tomatosphere that works with NASA to grow seeds from the tomatoes grown in space in the working food box. So come to the faire and check out the growing space tomatoes!


Open Call for Makers 2016!


MMFCNS2015 - Squishy Circuits

Welcome to the Fifth Anniversary Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire, presented by Schurz High School , the Urban School Foundation, and Christina Pei! For those of you who are new to Maker Faire, it is the largest celebration of DIY (Do-It-Yourself) in the world.  Maker Faire is a venue for inventors, technophiles, artists, crafters, mad scientists, hackers, musicians, and anyone who makes cool things and want to show others how it’s done.  Our Faire is the most diverse in the world, and we invite you to participate in teaching and learning for all ages and interests!  If you have an awesome project to showcase, share it here:


Reserve your maker table at Schurz High School on Saturday, May 7, 2016.  We will be accepting applications until April 1.  There is no cost to makers to present and it’s FREE for your friends to attend!  Makers will also be featured on our website and advertisements.

Questions? Contact us at CNSmakerfaire@gmail.com